Give this PPM calculator a try if percentages, per mills, and parts per million still puzzle you. It’s a straightforward tool for converting PPM to quantities like percents or parts per billion (PPB). We will offer you a brief summary of each of the proportion metrics in this post, as well as a full explanation of how to compute PPM and percentages.

What Is PPM?

We’re all (or should be) used to talking in percentages, like ‘this hamburger includes 50% of my daily recommended calories.’ Parts per million is comparable to percent, but we’re talking about far lower concentrations. For example, this would be 0.0002 percent if we used 2 parts per million. Thus we use parts per million for lesser concentrations instead.

The number of parts per million (ppm) refers to how many molecules or compounds there are in a million-part solution. It’s most commonly used to describe chemical concentrations in a solvent (usually water) or in soil components.

The absolute fractional quantity multiplied by one million equals one ppm. To illustrate ppm, imagine pouring four drops of ink in a 55-gallon bucket of water and completely mixing it. This technique would result in a 1 ppm ink concentration. Here are a few more analogies to help you visualize the ppm scale. One part per million is equal to:

  • 1 inch equals 16 miles,
  • 1 second equals 11.5 days,
  • and 1 minute equals two years.

Parts per billion is a smaller concentration measurement (ppb). One part in a billion is equal to one ppb. However, some similarities might be made because a ppb is a considerably lower concentration:

  • one sheet of toilet paper in a roll reaching from New York to London,
  • one second in roughly 32 years,
  • or a teaspoon of salt in ten tons of potato chips

How to calculate PPM and percents

The percentage metrics are all pretty similar in that they describe tiny values of dimensionless variables like the volumetric proportion of NO2 in the air. PPM, for example, stands for “parts per million.” So if you find out that the concentration of NO2 is 1 ppm, it indicates that if you split a sample of air into a million parts, one of them will be made up of NO2.

The following are the proportion metrics:

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

PPT: equal to 1 per 1,000,000,000,000

Percent to a ppm conversion table

Percent (%)ppm
0%0 ppm
0.0001%1 ppm
0.001%10 ppm
0.01%100 ppm
0.1%1000 ppm
1%10000 ppm
2%20000 ppm
3%30000 ppm
4%40000 ppm
5%50000 ppm
6%60000 ppm
7%70000 ppm
8%80000 ppm
9%90000 ppm
10%100000 ppm
20%200000 ppm
30%300000 ppm
40%400000 ppm
50%500000 ppm
60%600000 ppm
70%700000 ppm
80%800000 ppm
90%900000 ppm
100%1000000 ppm

PPM conversion: an example

Consider the following scenario: You have made a salt (NaCl) solution in water. You used 0.005 grams of salt, and the solution’s ultimate mass is one kilogram. How much salt is in the solution in parts per million (PPM)?

  • Begin by stating the concentration of the solution as a decimal. 1 kilogram contains 0.005 grams of salt (1000 grams). It signifies that 0.005 / 1000 = 0.000005 is the decimal value.

Multiply this figure by a hundred to get the percentage:

  •  0.000005 multiplied by 100 percent is 0.0005.

Multiply the decimal by a thousand to get the permille value:

  •  0.005 = 0.000005 * 1,000

Multiply the decimal by a million to get the PPM:

  •  5 PPM = 0.000005 * 1,000,000 PPM

Finally, multiply the decimal by a billion to get the PPB:

  •  5 PPB = 0.000005 * 1,000,000,000 PPB