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What is PPM

Rising Carbon Dioxide levels in our atmosphere have been linked to global warming and climate change. As CO2 levels increase in our air more of this compound enters our seas, changing the chemistry of the ocean making them more acidic. When we look at the make up of the Earthʼs air , 78% is Nitrogen, 21% is Oxygen, and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is just 400 parts per million. Scientists feel that this concentration of CO2 is
and will continue to create problems for this planet. Most experts feel that if levels of Carbon Dioxide were reduced and held at 350 ppm, we could prevent the harmful effects created by high CO2 levels; a difference of just 50 ppm… is that a lot …? What is 50 ppm? So, what does a concentration of one part per million look like? Can it even be detected? In this lab we will dilute one drop of food dye to a concentration of one part per million in a process known as “serial dilution.” The goal is to understand and get a feel for the size of this measurement unit . Serial Dilution. Creating a solution with a concentration of one part per million

Materials Needed:

  • 6 plastic spoons
  • dropper or small pipette
  • dark food coloring
  • cup of water
  • a separate “rinse cup” used for waste

Activity: What_is_a_PPM <pdf download>


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