N.I.S.T. Keeper of the Golden Rule
Have you ever noticed the words “Certification Traceable to N.I.S.T. RGM Ethanol Standards” on the label of your Alcohol Gas Tank? Here’s what that short sentence means.
A calibration standard that is “N.I.S.T. traceable” has the highest level of evidential quality. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (N.I.S.T.) is the ultimate authority for every measurement standard in the USA, including breath alcohol calibration standards. N.I.S.T. maintains primary reference standards, and also has several programs to provide N.I.S.T. standards to laboratories and manufacturers.
RGM stands for Research Gas Mixture. RGM is a N.I.S.T. program that prepares and/or certifies gas mixtures using the general procedures and methods used by N.I.S.T. So, the “RGM Ethanol Standards” on the label of the alcohol gas tank refers to one or more specific tanks of ethanol gas mixture that have been certified by N.I.S.T., and whose ethanol concentration is known with the highest degree of confidence.
“N.I.S.T. traceable” means that the manufacturer of an ethanol gas standard can document the specific N.I.S.T. reference standards used in the manufacture of each gas tank. Manufacturers provide that information in a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for a specific gas tank.
Airgas and Intoximeters offer an on-line tool called True-Trace that allows any user to download the certificate of analysis for a specific tank using the lot number, tank number, and DEV code for that tank. Here is an example of a Certificate of Analysis (link to COA) that itemizes the serial numbers of the ten N.I.S.T. RGMs that used in the production of that tank. This Certificate of Analysis documents N.I.S.T. traceability.
See the certificate analysis for your tank.