PPM Calculator

Created by Bogna Szyk
Reviewed by Rijk de Wet
Last updated: Mar 20, 2022

If percentages, per mills and parts per million still confuse you, give this PPM calculator a shot. It is a simple tool that can be used for conversion from PPM to units such as percents or parts per billion (PPB). In this article, we will provide you with a short description of each of the proportion metrics and give you a detailed explanation of how to calculate PPM and percentages.

How to calculate PPM and percents

All of the proportion metrics are quite similar: they describe small values of dimensionless quantities, such as the volumetric proportion of NO2\text{NO}_2 in the air. For example, PPM means "parts per million". If you find out that the concentration of NO2\text{NO}_2 is equal to 1 ppm, it means that if you take a "sample" of air and divide it into a million parts, one of them will consist of NO2\text{NO}_2.

The proportion metrics are as follows:

  • Percentage: equal to 1 per 100;
  • Permille: equal to 1 per 1,000;
  • PPM: equal to 1 per 1,000,000;
  • PPB: equal to 1 per 1,000,000,000; and
  • PPT: equal to 1 per 1,000,000,000,000.

PPM conversion: an example

Let's take the following example: you have created a solution of salt (NaCl\text{NaCl}) in water. You used 0.005 grams of salt, and the final mass of the solution is equal to 1 kilogram. How many parts per million (PPM) of salt are in the solution?

  1. Start with expressing the solution concentration as a decimal. There are 0.005 grams of salt in 1 kilogram (1000 grams). It means that the decimal is equal to
0.005 g / 1,000 g=0.000005\footnotesize \quad\enspace 0.005\ \text{g}\ /\ 1,\!000\ \text{g} = 0.000005
  1. To find the percentage, multiply this value by a hundred:
0.000005×100%=0.0005%\footnotesize \quad\enspace 0.000005 \times 100 \% = 0.0005\%
  1. To find the permille value, multiply the decimal by a thousand:
0.000005×1,000=0.005\footnotesize \quad\enspace 0.000005 \times 1,\!000 ‰ = 0.005‰
  1. For the PPM, multiply the decimal by a million:
0.000005×1,000,000 PPM=5 PPM\footnotesize \quad\enspace \begin{split} & 0.000005 \times 1,\!000,\!000\ \text{PPM} \\ &= 5\ \text{PPM} \end{split}
  1. Finally, for the PPB, multiply the decimal by a billion:
0.000005×1,000,000,000 PPB=5,000 PPB\footnotesize \quad\enspace \begin{split} & 0.000005 \times 1,\!000,\!000,\!000\ \text{PPB} \\ &= 5,\!000\ \text{PPB} \end{split}

One of the applications of such PPM calculations in everyday life, is to find and adjust the salinity of your swimming pool.

Bogna Szyk
Number
%
PPM
PPB
PPT
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