How to choose the right mixture for your application

BOC Limited
Friday, 29 March, 2019

BOC offers an extensive range of specialty high-purity and made-to-order gas products designed to support a diverse array of applications across numerous industries and markets. These include manufacturing, oil and gas, mining, automotive, research, analytical laboratories, healthcare and life-science, government agencies and niche specialists. Applications for specialised gas mixtures can range from high-accuracy instrument calibrations, to cell culture and welding. So how do you determine which product best suits your application?

Many factors may affect your choice. You may require specific certification to meet conditions stipulated by a regulatory body, or to comply with internal quality assurance processes and specifications. For example, you may need a Certificate of Analysis endorsed by NATA, or require a mixture manufactured to the US EPA protocol for environmental emissions testing. In this case, your dedicated Scientific Specialist can guide you directly to the type of mixture you require.

If you are not certain, first consider how your mixture is used. Is your mixture used for the calibration of an instrument? If yes, you will need a certified reference standard such as BOC’s HiQ® Primary Gravimetric Standard (PGS) or Certified Calibration Standard (CCS). Both are compliant to ISO 17034 and are fully traceable. PGS mixtures are certified gravimetrically with analytical verification and overall provide the tightest preparation tolerances and smallest certification uncertainty, compared to CCS mixtures which are certified analytically. Such standards can be used to calibrate analytical equipment which is used in research, production laboratories and process monitoring. A PGS mixture may be more appropriate for higher precision, critical applications where analytical uncertainty and nominal concentrations have a significant impact; for example, analysis of LNG for export where 0.5% difference in calibration uncertainty has a significant financial impact on the fiscal risk of the product. Both PGS and CCS mixture types can accommodate your complex multi-component mixtures with an extensive, ever expanding range of gases and liquids. Your BOC scientific representative can guide you through the detailed selection process.

If your mixture is not used for calibration, but you have a critical process application which heavily relies on the mixture to provide precise and accurate concentrations with guaranteed stability over its entire shelf-life, then consider using one of our HiQ Certified Calibration Standards (CCS). Otherwise, for simple mixtures comprising 4 components or less, required for applications such as animal cell culture, blanketing, instrumentation support gases and leak detection, a HiQ Special Application Mixture (SAM) may provide a more cost-effective option. This is especially the case for high usage. SAM mixtures are volumetrically or gravimetrically prepared and can be supplied with or without a cylinder-specific NATA-accredited Certificate of Analysis to ISO 17025.

Similarly, BOC offers dedicated products for life science applications. If you are using mixtures in life science applications such as in IVF clinics, hospitals or universities and you are calibrating instruments, then you will need a HiQ Life Science Application Mixture Plus (LSX). This certified reference material is manufactured in accordance with ISO 17034 and under Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). Alternatively, a more cost-effective solution could be HiQ Life Science Application (LSA) mixtures which are suitable for non-calibration purposes and produced under GMP.

To summarise, the answers to these questions will help you select the right gas mixture for your application:

  • Are you using the gas mixture for calibration?
  • If yes, do you require the highest levels of precision and/or the most direct path to traceability?
  • If no, is your application critical?
  • Are you using the gas mixture for environmental emissions testing to EPA protocol?
  • Are you using the gas mixture for life science applications, and if so are you also using that gas mixture for calibration?
  • Do you need a pure gas certified to ISO 17034?

If you need more information or assistance in choosing the right mixture for your unique application, BOC’s expert team of Scientific Specialists can help you. Simply contact us by sending an email to or calling 1800 658 278 and we will be more than happy to help you find the right solution to meet your application needs.

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