Articles | Volume 11, issue 10
Research article
12 Oct 2018
Research article |  | 12 Oct 2018

Experiments with CO2-in-air reference gases in high-pressure aluminum cylinders

Michael F. Schibig, Duane Kitzis, and Pieter P. Tans

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Cited articles

Andrews, A. E., Kofler, J. D., Trudeau, M. E., Williams, J. C., Neff, D. H., Masarie, K. A., Chao, D. Y., Kitzis, D. R., Novelli, P. C., Zhao, C. L., Dlugokencky, E. J., Lang, P. M., Crotwell, M. J., Fischer, M. L., Parker, M. J., Lee, J. T., Baumann, D. D., Desai, A. R., Stanier, C. O., De Wekker, S. F. J., Wolfe, D. E., Munger, J. W., and Tans, P. P.: CO2, CO, and CH4 measurements from tall towers in the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory's Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network: instrumentation, uncertainty analysis, and recommendations for future high-accuracy greenhouse gas monitoring efforts, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 7, 647–687,, 2014. 
Brewer, P. J., Brown, R. J. C., Resner, K. V., Hill-Pearce, R. E., Worton, D. R., Allen, N. D. C., Blakley, K. C., Benucci, D., and Ellison, M. R.: Influence of Pressure on the Composition of Gaseous Reference Materials, Anal. Chem., 90, 3490–3495,, 2018. 
Chapman, S. and Cowling, T. G.: The Mathematical Theory of Non-uniform Gases: An Account of the Kinetic Theory of Viscosity, Thermal Conduction and Diffusion in Gases, illustrated, 3rd ed., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England, 1970. 
Hofmann, D. J., Butler, J. H., Dlugokencky, E. J., Elkins, J. W., Masarie, K., Montzka, S. A., and Tans, P.: The role of carbon dioxide in climate forcing from 1979 to 2004: introduction of the Annual Greenhouse Gas Index, Tellus B, 58, 614–619,, 2006. 
IPCC: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, NY, USA, 1535 pp., 2013. 
Short summary
For long-term monitoring of CO2 in the atmosphere it is crucial that standard reference gas mixtures stored in high-pressure aluminum cylinders, used to calibrate global measurements, remain stable over their whole time of use. This study finds a reproducible small enrichment as a cylinder is emptied at a low-flow rate, as well as somewhat larger and variable effects when a cylinder is emptied using a high-flow rate.