Volume Conversions
Key Concepts
The unit of volume derived from SI units is the cubic meter, m^{3} .

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 = 1dm^{3}
So 1 milliltre = 1 cubic centimetre
1mL = 1cm^{3} (= 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
10^{12}
10^{9}
10^{6}
10^{3}
10^{2}
10^{1}
10^{-1}
10^{-2}
10^{-3}
10^{-6}
10^{-9}
10^{-12}
10^{-15}
10^{-18}
prefix
tera
giga
mega
kilo
hecto
deca
deci
centi
milli
micro
nano
pico
femto
atto
symbol
T
G
M
k
h
da
d
c
m
µ
n
p
f
a

1 litre (1L) = 10^{3} millilitres (1000mL)
1 millilitre (1mL) = 1 ÷ 10^{3} litres = 0.001L
1 megalitre (1ML) = 10^{6} litres (1,000,000L)
1 litre (1L) = 1 ÷ 10^{6} megalitres = 10^{-6} ML
1 microlitre (1µL) = 10^{-6} litres
1 litre (1L) = 1 ÷ 10^{-6} microlitres = 10^{6} µL

Examples of Volume Conversions Using Metric Units
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

Convert 2.5L to millilitres
1L = 1,000 mL
2.5 L = 2.5 x 1,000mL = 2,500 mL

Convert 5 millilitres to litres
From the table above we see that milli = 10^{-3}
5mL = 5 x 10^{-3} L = 0.005L

Convert 0.250L to microlitres
1µL = 10^{-6} L
1L = 1 ÷ 10^{-6} µL = 10^{6} µL
0.250L = 0.250 x 10^{6} µL = 2.50 x 10^{5} µL = 250,000 µL

Convert 25 µL to millitres
1 µL = 10^{-6} L
25 µL = 25 x 10^{-6} L = 2.5 x 10^{-5} L

1L = 1,000 mL
2.5 x 10^{-5} L = 2.5 x 10^{-5} x 1,000 L = 2.5 x 10^{-2} mL = 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
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

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

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

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

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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