Solving Using PPM (Parts Per Million)

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Solution Concentration: Parts Per Million

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Key Questions

  • PPM stands for parts per million. PPB is a commonly used unit of concentration for very small values.

    One part per billion is one part of solute per one billion parts solvent.

    PPM is a term used in chemistry to denote a very, very low concentration of a solution. One gram in 1000 ml is 1000 ppm and one thousandth of a gram (0.001g) in 1000 ml is one ppm.

    One thousanth of a gram is one milligram and 1000 ml is one liter, so that 1 ppm = 1 mg per liter = mg/Liter.
    PPM is derived from the fact that the density of water is taken as 1kg/L = 1,000,000 mg/L, and 1mg/L is 1mg/1,000,000mg or one part in one million.

    Ppm (parts per million) to % (parts per hundred)


    1 ppm = 1/1,000,000 = 0.000001 = 0.0001%
    10 ppm = 10/1,000,000 = 0.00001 = 0.001%
    100 ppm = 100/1,000,000 = 0.0001 = 0.01%
    200 ppn = 200/1,000,000 = 0.0002 = 0.02%
    5000 ppm = 5000/1,000,000 = 0.005 = 0.5%
    10,000 ppm = 10000/1,000,000 = 0.01 = 1.0%
    20,000 ppm = 20000/1,000,000 = 0.02 = 2.0%

  • In order to calculate the parts per million you will need to know how many mg of solute is dissolved in 1000g (1L) of water.

    #(0.001g)/(1000g)# = 0.000001
    Multiplying 0.000001 by 1,000,000 gives a result of 1ppm.

    Here is a video discussing this type of calculation. In the video, the number of moles of barium present in a 1L sample of water with a barium concentration of 2ppm is calculated.

    2 ppm is the maximum allowable level for barium in drinking water in the US as established by the EPA .

    video from:Noel Pauller

  • Answer:

    It's often used to measure contaminants, but there's other applications.


    When you read about an article about air pollution or water pollution, you'll often see it refer to the concentration of contamination in ppm.

    here's a NASA article talking about the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere reaching 400ppm.

    You can also get a water quality tester to see the concentration of foreign particles in the water.


  • CoStellar answered · 10 months ago