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High School Physics: Homework Help Resource22 chapters | 277 lessons

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Instructor:
*Artem Cheprasov*

In this lesson you will learn how to convert milliliters into gallons using the relationships between the metric system, the U.S. customary units, and the British imperial units.

The unit of 'mL' is spelled out as 'milliliter.' 'Milli-' means 'one-thousandth.' A mL is a metric system unit, the kind of measurement system that's used in most of the world. A mL is a unit of volume.

Like a mL, a gallon is also a unit of volume. However, it is not a metric unit. A gallon is a unit of volume in the United States customary system of units.

To convert from mL to gallons, use the following steps:

**Step 1**

Know that 1 U.S. gallon = 3785.41 mL, which you can also find if you search for it on Google.

**Step 2**

Divide the number of mL you have by 3785.41 to get your answer in gallons. Let's say that you have 5,000 mL. How many gallons is that? Using the two steps above, you should write out your problem as:

(5,000 mL) / ( 3785.41 mL/gallon)

Please note, we defined a gallon by US customary units. However, it can also be defined using the British imperial system of measurement. In that case:

1 gallon = 4546.09 mL

When using U.S. customary units:

(5,000 mL) / ( 3785.41 mL/gallon) = 1.32 gallons

When using British Imperial units:

(5,000 mL) / (4546 mL/gallon) = 1.10 gallons

How would we use all of this in the real world? Well, let's say that you fill up your car with gas in the U.S. at a price of $3/gallon. Then, the next day you travel to a country called Mando, where you see the price of gas listed as $0.95/liter. Assume both countries use the same currency.

Which country has the more expensive gasoline?

Well, Mando sells its gas at $0.95/liter. As you learned before, a 'milli-' is one thousandth of something. Thus a milliliter is one-thousandth of a liter. In other words, there are 1,000 milliliters/liter. That means you are paying $0.95 per 1,000 milliliters of gas:

$0.95/liter = $0.95/1,000 mL

We need to figure out how many times 1,000 mL would fit into a gallon. Then we need to multiply that answer by $0.95 to figure out how much we are paying per gallon.

Recall that 3785.41 mL = 1 gallon.

Thus, divide 3785.41 mL by your 1,000 mL of gas to get:

3785.41 mL / 1,000 mL = 3.78

This means 1,000 mL fits into a gallon 3.78 times.

3.78 x $0.95 = $3.59

In Mando, we are paying $3.59/gallon for gas. That's quite a bit more expensive than in the U.S.!

You can solve this problem a bit more quickly and easily if you note the following. There are 3.78 liters/gallon. The U.S. has a price of $3/gallon. This is the same thing as saying $3 per 3.78 liters.

$3/3.78 = $0.79/liter $0.79/liter is cheaper than $0.95/liter. Thus, once again, Mando is still more expensive when it comes to buying gasoline! That's because all we did was double check our work using a different way of solving the problem.

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High School Physics: Homework Help Resource22 chapters | 277 lessons

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