Abstract The design of an “inert gas” distribution system in an electron processor must satisfy a number of requirements. The first of these is the elimination or control of beam produced ozone and NO x which can be transported from the process zone by the product into the work area. Since the tolerable levels for O 3 in occupied areas around the processor are <0.1 ppm, good control techniques are required involving either recombination of the O 3 in the beam heated process zone, or exhausting and dilution of the gas at the processor exit. The second requirement of the inerting system is to provide a suitable environment for completing efficient, free radical initiated addition polymerization. In this case, the competition between radical loss through de-excitation and that from O 2 quenching must be understood. This group has used gas chromatographic analysis of electron cured coatings to study the trade-offs of delivered dose, dose rate and O 2 concentrations in the process zone to determine the tolerable ranges of parameter excursions can be determined for production quality control purposes. These techniques are described for an ink:coating system on paperboard, where a broad range of process parameters have been studied (D, Ġ, O 2. It is then shown how the technique is used to optimize the use of higher purity (10–100 ppm O 2) nitrogen gas for inerting, in combination with lower purity (2–20, 000 ppm O 2) non-cryogenically produced gas, as from a membrane or pressure swing adsorption generators.