Afrox is poised for the September 2011 launch of a pioneering calibration gas mixture packaging technology based on a proprietary cylinder treatment process developed by its parent company, The Linde Group.
To keep pace with technological advances and increasingly stringent global legislative requirements, which are also being introduced in South Africa, the Linde SPECTRA-SEAL® calibration gas mixtures use state-of-the-art packaging technology with proprietary cylinder treatment processes that exceed the increasingly demanding requirements for consistency and stability in a wide variety of calibration standards — down to part-per-billion levels.
SPECTRA-SEAL® offers long-term stability for binary calibration gas mixtures requiring low-level carbon monoxide, carbonyl sulphide, methyl mercaptan, hydrogen sulphide, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and ammonia. These components are among the most analysed and controlled substances in the atmosphere around industrial facilities.
“With any gas used for calibration purposes, the most important requirement is that it can accurately and repeatedly report values of the relevant instrument being measured,” says Afrox’s Marietha Strydom. “Our recently introduced HiQ® specialty gas products were developed to provide accurate, stable gas products with an extended shelf life, up to a full 60 months (HiQ®60). This development in reliability and shelf life extension is a significant leap forward in the supply of locally manufactured calibration gases.
“Previously, gas suppliers across the market offered product expiration guarantees generally limited to 36 months, with many products available with only 12 or 24 months of shelf life. Gas products with these more limited shelf lives can impact on measurement accuracy, as gas stability in terms of consistency and quality can change over time.
“The demand for stable, accurate measurement is the cornerstone of emissions analysis. However, calibration standards of low-level reactive mixtures, typically those with levels below 5 ppm (parts per million), can prove to be unstable over time and can result in incorrect measurements, lost productivity and — from an emissions monitoring legislation point of view — potential fines,” says Strydom.
“With an ever-increasing number of processing plants coming on stream, the focus on emissions release into the atmosphere is coming under intense scrutiny by South African environmental authorities. We’re delighted to have access to world-leading technology developed by Linde, such as HiQ® 60 and SPECTRA-SEAL®, which allows us to benefit our local customers in terms of legislative compliance, consistency, accuracy and cost savings.”
Afrox is now able to prepare low ppm calibration mixtures, including some reactive binary mixtures which the company was previously obliged to import from its sister company in the United Kingdom. Strydom says the introduction of SPECTRA-SEAL® will therefore greatly reduce lead times on these types of mixtures.
SPECTRA-SEAL® cylinders are fitted with specialised stainless steel valves. Afrox also supplies regulators with stainless steel and monel parts to ensure integrity of the gas mixture as it passes from the cylinder to the measuring instruments.