# Volume Conversions

## Key Concepts

• The unit of volume derived from SI units is the cubic meter, m3.

• Chemists in a laboratory usually deal with much smaller volumes than cubic meters and the metric but non-SI units of liter or litre (L) and milliliter or millilitre (mL or ml) are in common use.

• In 1964 the litre was redefined as being equal to exactly 1 cubic decimetre:
1L = 1dm3

So 1 milliltre = 1 cubic centimetre
1mL = 1cm3 (= 1cc)

• Non-metric units of volume can still be found in use around the world, eg, gallons of gas in the USA and a pint of beer in the UK.

## Volume Conversions

Metric Unit Conversions

 factors prefix symbol 1012 109 106 103 102 101 10-1 10-2 10-3 10-6 10-9 10-12 10-15 10-18 tera giga mega kilo hecto deca deci centi milli micro nano pico femto atto T G M k h da d c m µ n p f a

 1 litre (1L) = 103 millilitres (1000mL) 1 millilitre (1mL) = 1 ÷ 103 litres = 0.001L 1 megalitre (1ML) = 106 litres (1,000,000L) 1 litre (1L) = 1 ÷ 106 megalitres = 10-6ML 1 microlitre (1µL) = 10-6 litres 1 litre (1L) = 1 ÷ 10-6 microlitres = 106µL

### Examples of Volume Conversions Using Metric Units

1. Convert 1 litre to decilitres

From the table above we see that deci = 10-1 = 0.1
1dL = 0.1L
1L = 1 ÷ 0.1 dL = 10dL

2. Convert 2.5L to millilitres

1L = 1,000 mL
2.5 L = 2.5 x 1,000mL = 2,500 mL

3. Convert 5 millilitres to litres

From the table above we see that milli = 10-3
5mL = 5 x 10-3L = 0.005L

4. Convert 0.250L to microlitres

1µL = 10-6L
1L = 1 ÷ 10-6 µL = 106 µL
0.250L = 0.250 x 106 µL = 2.50 x 105 µL = 250,000 µL

5. Convert 25 µL to millitres

1 µL = 10-6L
25 µL = 25 x 10-6L = 2.5 x 10-5L

1L = 1,000 mL
2.5 x 10-5L = 2.5 x 10-5 x 1,000 L = 2.5 x 10-2mL = 0.025mL

Non-metric Units of Volume

• 1 US liquid gallon = 231 cubic inches = 3.785411784 litres

• 1 US fluid ounce = 1/128 US gallon = 0.0295735295625L = 29.5735295625mL

• 1 US pint = 1/8 US gallon = 16 US fluid ounces = 473.1764729984mL

• 1 US quart = 1/4 US gallon = 32 US fluid ounces = 946.3529459968mL

### Examples of Conversion Between Empirical Units and SI Units of Mass

1. Convert 10 US gallons to millilitres

1 gallon = 3.7854L
1L = 1,000mL
1 gallon = 1,000 x 3.7854 mL = 3,785.4mL
10 gallons = 10 x 3,785.4mL = 37,854mL

2. Convert 2.5 US fluid ounces to millilitres

1 fl oz = 29.5735 mL
2.5 fl oz = 2.5 x 29.5735 mL = 73.9338 mL

3. Convert 200 litres to US gallons

1 gallon = 3.7854L
1L = 1 ÷ 3.7854 gallon = 0.2642 gallon
so 200L = 200 x 0.2642 gallon = 52.8346 gallon

4. Convert 150 millilitres to US fluid ounces

1 fl oz = 29.57353 mL
1mL = 1 ÷ 29.57353 = 0.03381 fl oz
So 150mL = 150 x 0.03381 fl oz = 5.072 fl oz

5. Convert 500 millilitres to US quarts.

1 quart = 946.353 mL
1mL = 1 ÷ 946.353 quart = 0.00106 quart

So 500mL = 500 x 0.00106 quart = 0.528 quart

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