A tonne, or metric ton, is a single unit of mass equal to 1,000 kilograms or 2,204.6 pounds. This unit is the approximate mass of a cubic meter of water at 4 degrees Celsius. Converting standard units to metric units often involves only a single step, but because a gallon is a standard unit of volume, you must first convert it into a standard unit of weight before you completing any calculation.

Check your calculation by multiplication. For instance, 50 gallons x 8.34 pounds per gallon = 417 pounds. When you divide 417 pounds by 2,204.6 pounds per ton, you get the same answer.

Weigh 1 gallon of your substance to get its weight in pounds. For instance, 1 gallon of water typically weighs 8.34 pounds.

Divide 2,204.6 pounds by the weight of the object from Step 1. Carry out the answer to at least four decimal places. In the example:

Divide the number of gallons you wish to convert into metric tons by your answer from Step 2. For example:

This example means that 50 gallons of water weighing 8.34 pounds per gallon is approximately 0.189 tonne, or 18.9 percent of 1 metric ton.

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- You can check your calculation by multiplication. For instance, 50 gallons times 8.34 pounds per gallon equals 417 pounds. When you divide 417 pounds by 2,204.6 pounds per ton, you get the same answer.

About the Author

Andrew Cross began writing professionally in 2007 and now works full-time at a Chicago-based public relations agency. He has also served as a reporter, editor, columnist and freelance public relations consultant for several agencies and publications. Cross holds a Bachelor of Arts in public relations from Illinois State University.