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Convert weight percentage (EDX) into ppm

February 22, 2009

Q. A SEM/EDX analysis on Aluminium bond pad (AlCu0.5%) detected 2% weight percentage of Chlorine, besides common elements Al, C, O & Ti. May I know how to convert this Chlorine weight percentage into ppm ?

Liew CS
Employee - Malaysia

First of three simultaneous responses -- February 25, 2009

A. 2% would be 20,000 ppm

Terry Tomt
- Auburn, Washington


EDX = Energy-dispersive X-ray
SEM = Scanning electron microscopy ppm = parts per million

Second of three simultaneous responses -- February 25, 2009

A. The easy answer is .0001% = 1 ppm.

Kurt Sammons
- Inman, South Carolina

Third of three simultaneous responses -- February 25, 2009

A. 2% is 2 parts per hundred, so I would guess that you need to multiply that by 10,000 to get parts per million.
PS, I rather doubt that number unless it has salt on the surface or had a chlorinated plastic residue.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

March 1, 2009

A. Remember that EDX is an analysis of the surface only and may not represent the overall composition of the target.
The conversion appears simple but I would be very careful what conclusions I reached from the figures.

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England

August 14, 2009

Q. I have been analysing bark samples for chlorine content and have been able to achieve chlorine as a weight percentage. Does anyone know how to convert from weight percentage to ppm?

Denis Delaney
- Wexford, Ireland

August 14, 2009

A. Hi, Denis. The previous answers seemed to explain it, but I guess it wasn't as clear as I thought. 'ppm' is parts per million by weight. 1 percent by weight would be 10,000 ppm.


Ted Mooney   Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

December 2, 2009

Q. A SEM/EDX analysis on Mold compound (SiO2 -80%) detected 0.33% weight percentage of Bromine, besides common elements Mg,Si, Zn, C , O.

May I know how to convert this Bromine weight percentage into ppm?

Hiew Mei Fen
student - Malaysia

December 2, 2009

A. Hi, Hiew. As mentioned, the meaning of "ppm" is simply "parts per million by weight". You have 3.3 parts per thousand by weight, which would be 3300 ppm. I am having a hard time understanding why you would ask this question in light of the previous question that was rather clearly answered four times :-)

But please read Geoff Smith's caution.


Ted Mooney,   Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

September 27, 2014

Q. I am working on SEM/EDX my chlorine reading in coal is 0.61 wt.%
What will be equivalent in ppm?

Dr. Imdad Siddiqui
- Jamshoro-Sindh, Pakistan

September 2014

A. Hi Dr. Siddiqui. 0.61 wt.% is 6100 ppm. The question you are asking has been answered so many times on this page that we are apparently not communicating the actual question.
I suspect that the issue may relate to the idiosyncrasies of English, rather than the simple math: "%" is the same thing as "percentage", "wt." is the same as "weight", and "weight %" is the same thing as "% by weight". Best of luck.


Ted Mooney,   Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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