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Gas Generators

If you’ve had to lug a tank of gas to an experiment station and secure it in place, you know the hassle and danger involved.

by Lab Manager

If you’ve had to lug a tank of gas to an experiment station and secure it in place, you know the hassle and danger involved. Many lab managers are turning to generators for convenience; cost also plays a part with labs needing to pay for the delivery of gas while the time required to change the tanks and the managerial costs of maintaining the necessary supply of tanks also hurt the bottom line.

Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Gas Generator

1. What application do you need a supply of gas for? Depending on experiment or application you may need one or more hydrogen, nitrogen or a zero-air gas generators.

2. How many systems will your gas generator supply? There are a number of sizes of gas generator that will service one or many systems for a number of applications.

3. If you need to supply gas to more than one system, are you planning on having a central source of gas? The number of labs you need to supply will determine whether you opt for a larger, central generator or numerous, smaller generators.

4. Is space an issue in your lab? It may be that you need a smaller, stand-alone generator that can be stored or stacked away to save space.

5. What are the safety parameters that you must adhere to when using gases? A generator significantly reduces the hazardous risk that comes with on-site gas supplies, but it’s good to discuss your gas options with your safety representative.

6. What service proposition comes with the gas generator? There are a number of options when managing a generator, whether that’s getting an education in self-maintenance, knowing a service representative will be able to maintain the unit regularly or having the ability to send a unit back to the manufacturer.

The type(s) of gas generator(s) respondents to our latest survey are looking to purchase for their labs include:

Calibration 5%
Hydrogen 26%
Nitrogen 34%
Purge 6%
TOC 2%
Zero Air 21%
Other 6%

Applications our readers are using or planning to use their gas generators for:

TOC analysis 3%
Gas chromatography with flame ionization detection 31%
High-performance liquid chromatography 18%
Gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection 20%
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy 6%
Inductively coupled plasma systems 5%
Nuclear resonance spectroscopy 3%
Other 12%

The 10 most important features/factors in our readers’ decisions to purchase a gas generator:

  Important Not Important Don't Know
Value for price paid 96% 4% 0%
Durability of product 93% 3% 3%
Performance of product 93% 7% 0%
Low maintenance/ easy to clean 91% 2% 7%
Total cost of ownership 89% 5% 5%
Low operating costs 89% 9% 2%
Service and support 84% 15% 2%
Availability of supplies and accessories 83% 10% 7%
Ease of use 82% 12% 5%
Warranties 79% 14% 7%

Recently Released Gas Generators

• Provide ultra-high purity gas with consistent and predictable results
• LCMS generators feature high capacities and are suitable for analytical laboratories with multiple instruments
• Proton OnSite’s hydrogen, nitrogen and zero air generators are available in a wide range of customizable, stackable systems

Proton OnSite

• Dynamically blends calibration standards for acetaldehyde and other oxygenate contaminants in nitrogen or food grade carbon dioxide matrix
• Creates ‘standard additions’ of the various contaminants to eliminate uncertainty
• Secondary dilution feature gives low ppb and ppt concentrations adjustable over a 400:1 range
• Mixture concentrations are traceable to NIST through physical standards


NitroFlow 60
• Produces up to 60 slpm of pure LC/MS grade nitrogen at pressures of up to 110 psig
• Suits multiple LC/MS and new LC/MS instruments requiring high flow
• Includes integrated scroll compressor technology, a small footprint, mobility, and whisper-quiet operation

Parker Balston

Genius 1022 Nitrogen Generator
• Designed specifically for use with the Thermo Scientific Q Exactive™ mass spectrometer
• Increases the operational pressure to meet the required input specifications of the Q Exactive™, ensuring a reliable and continuous flow of gas
• Provides nitrogen at 32 L/min @ 6.9 bar / 1.13 CFM @ 116 psi

Peak Scientific


Gas Generator Manufacturers

Air Liquide
Ionicon Analytik
Parker Balston
Peak Scientific
Proton Onsite
Thermo Fisher Scientific