Concept

Parts-per notation

Summary
In science and engineering, the parts-per notation is a set of pseudo-units to describe small values of miscellaneous dimensionless quantities, e.g. mole fraction or mass fraction. Since these fractions are quantity-per-quantity measures, they are pure numbers with no associated units of measurement. Commonly used are parts-per-million (ppm, 10−6), parts-per-billion (ppb, 10−9), parts-per-trillion (ppt, 10−12) and parts-per-quadrillion (ppq, 10−15). This notation is not part of the International System of Units (SI) system and its meaning is ambiguous. Applications Parts-per notation is often used describing dilute solutions in chemistry, for instance, the relative abundance of dissolved minerals or pollutants in water. The quantity "1 ppm" can be used for a mass fraction if a water-borne pollutant is present at one-millionth of a gram per gram of sample so
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