CCQM-K120.a comparison involves preparing standards of carbon dioxide in air which are fit for purpose for the atmospheric monitoring community, with stringent requirements on matrix composition and measurement uncertainty of the CO2 mole fraction. This represents an analytical challenge and is therefore considered as a Track C comparison. The comparison will underpin CMC claims for CO2 in air for standards and calibrations services for the atmospheric monitoring community, matrix matched to real air, over the mole fraction range of 250 μmol/mol to 520 μmol/mol. CCQM-K120.b comparison tests core skills and competencies required in gravimetric preparation, analytical certification and purity analysis. It is considered as a Track A comparison. It will underpin CO2 in air and nitrogen claims in a mole fraction range starting at the smallest participant's reported expanded uncertainty and ending at 500 mmol/mol. Participants successful in this comparison may use their result in the flexible scheme and underpin claims for all core mixtures This study has involved a comparison at the BIPM of a suite of 44 gas standards prepared by each of the participating laboratories. Fourteen laboratories took part in both comparisons (CCQM-K120.a, CCQM-K120.b) and just one solely in the CCQM-K120.b comparison. The standards were sent to the BIPM where the comparison measurements were performed. Two measurement methods were used to compare the standards, to ensure no measurement method dependant bias: GC-FID and FTIR spectroscopic analysis corrected for isotopic variation in the CO2 gases, measured at the BIPM using absorption laser spectroscopy. Following the advice of the CCQM Gas Analysis Working Group, results from the FTIR method were used to calculate the key comparison reference values.
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