Purchases of GML reference gas preparation and calibration services can only be initiated through a project contract.
Here is an example Memorandum of Understanding [MOU] Contract.

For more information on calibration services, contact refgas@noaa.gov

Purchase and Filling of Compressed Gas Cylinders

The cost of a standard varies with the cylinder type and level of complexity. For cylinders filled with natural air (Niwot Ridge, Colorado) fees are listed below.

  • CO2 can be adjusted and calibrated between 250 and 3000 μmol/mol. The target CO2 value is usually within 5 μmol/mol for near ambient concentrations. Increasing the amount of CO2 over ambient levels requires adding CO2 which is isotopically lighter than ambient. The closer to ambient CO2 levels we target, the closer the air will be in regards to the stable isotopes of CO2. Lower than ambient standards usually have very close to ambient stable isotopes of CO2.
  • CH4, CO and N2O can be adjusted but with greater targeting variability.
  • Halocarbon concentrations can sometimes be adjusted to user requirements on an individual basis (contact Brad Hall for information).
  • Cylinder valve connection is CGA-590.
  • A standard gas cylinder requires 4-6 weeks to fill and 3 weeks for each trace gas species to calibrate. The normal turn-around time varies due to seasonal logistics and calibration queue
  • Note that for filling tanks to be used for halocompound reference gases, a different Rix compressor is used than for the filling of cylinders for CO2/CH4/CO/N2O, SF6. This compressor has been modified to reduce contaminants that can interfere with gas chromatography with electron capture detection.

Cylinder Types

Different types of cylinders are used depending on the molecule of interest.

  • Cylinders for CO2/CH4/CO/N2O/SF6 are bare aluminum N30, N60, N80, N150, N265 Luxfer cylinders. The most common size we use is N150, 29.5 liter internal volume, pressurized to 130 bar, containing approximately 4000 liters of air. Cylinder valves are Ceodeux, brass packles, CGA590 port connection.
  • The majority of halocompound standards are prepared in Aculife-treated aluminum cylinders (size AL-30 or AL-150) purchased from Scott Specialty Gases.
  • The third type of cylinder used is a stainless steel cylinder certified for transport at 900 psig (Essex Cryogenics). These electopolished cylinders are used primarily for compounds known to be unstable in Aculife-treated aluminum, such as CH3Br and CH3Cl.
You can also read a description about how standard reference gases are filled.

Service Costs for FY2021, as of October 1, 2020, Valid for 60 days from the GRN(YR/MO/DAY) agreement number.

Note: Some of the pricing structure has changed. Starting October 1, 2020, the cylinder cost does not include filling or concentration adjustment. There are separate filling and targeting costs. We feel this better characterizes material and scientific work fees. Shipping costs are grouped by quantity to better reflect expected shipping and handling costs. Quotation is valid for 60 days, from the quotation email date or MOU (GRN(YR/MO/DAY) AGREEMENT number provided to the purchaser, whichever is later.

Purchase of new empty cylinder
Cylinder Type and Size Price (US Dollars)
N265 Aluminum cylinder, 46.4 liter volume, [+ 8 weeks] $1,670
N150 Aluminum cylinder, 29.5 liter volume $568
N80 Aluminum cylinder, 15.8 liter volume $455
N60 Aluminum cylinder, 10.8 liter volume $434
N30 Aluminum cylinder, 5.9 liter volume $321
Aculife cylinder N150 $683
Aculife cylinder N30 $426
Filling Services
Filling service Price (US Dollars)
Filling with natural air $547
Filling of Aculife cylinder size N150 (for Halocarbons) $889
Filling of Aculife cylinder size N30 (for Halocarbons) $638
Multi-species targeting $93

Calibrations of Compressed Gas Cylinders

NOAA GML is the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Central Calibration Laboratory (CCL) for CO2, CH4, N2O, SF6, and CO. Calibrations results for these species are on official WMO scales. Calibrations for other gases are on internal NOAA scales.

Calibrations can be performed on the stable isotopes of CO2 (C13 and O18). The CO2 stable isotope calibration is based on a provisional scale maintained by INSTAAR at the University of Colorado. Values given for the stable isotopes of CO2 are informational values only.

Compound Price (US Dollars)
CO2 on WMO scale 250-600 µmol/mol, CH4 WMO scale 300-5000 nmol/mol $1489
CO2 Range < 250 PPM or > 600 PPM $1571
Stable Isotopes of CO2 [C13 & O18] $814
CO Range 40-500 nmol/mol $802
N20 / SF6 analysis by ECD $705
Calibration by GCMS (for all other gases) $887

One recalibration for CO2, CH4 or CO after use is included in the cost of the standard gas. This is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED every 3 years for precision work and should at least be performed at the end of the cylinder's use (20 atm pressure). The cost of recalibrations after the first recalibration is:

Additional recalibrations Price (US Dollars)
CO2, CH4 or CO $354

Shipping and Handling

Destination Price per Cylinder (US Dollars)
Shipping and handling, Foreign – 1 to 3 cylinders $474
Shipping and handling, Foreign – 4 to 9 cylinders $296
Shipping and handling, Foreign – 10 or more cylinders $156
Shipping and handling, Domestic – 1 to 3 cylinders $132
Shipping and handling, Domestic – 4 to 9 cylinders $65
Shipping and handling, Domestic – 10 or more cylinders $33

Service Cost

Financial Management Service Collection Cost* $2.74 per MOU
*Financial Management Service is required on all agreements by the Department of Treasury per Office of Management & Dubdget Circular A-25, Policy Memorandum 14-02 dated July 25, 2014.

Pre-purchase Quotes

For more information and pre-purchase quotes, e-mail refgas@noaa.gov. A quote is necessary before accepting a purchase order. Inquiries can also be made through the following address, fax, or phone:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Global Monitoring Laboratory
Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gases group
325 Broadway
Boulder, CO. 80305
E-Mail refgas@noaa.gov
Fax 303-497-6290