How many cc equals 1 pound?

Determining how many cubic centimeters (cc) are in a pound requires converting between different units of measurement for volume and weight. Specifically, we need to convert between cc, a metric unit of volume, and pounds, an imperial unit of weight. With some simple math we can calculate the number of cc in a pound of any given substance.

The Quick Answer

For water at 4°C, 1 pound (lb) is approximately equal to 473.2 cc. This conversion depends on the density of the particular substance in question, but for room temperature water this approximation works well.

Calculating CC to Pounds

To find out how many cc are in 1 lb, we need to use the density equation:

Density = Mass / Volume

Rearranging this equation to solve for Volume gives us:

Volume = Mass / Density

Plugging in the numbers:

  • Mass = 1 pound = 453.592 grams (there are 453.592 g in 1 lb)
  • Density of water at 4°C = 1 g/cc (grams per cubic centimeter)

So for water at 4°C:

Volume = 453.592 g / 1 g/cc = 453.592 cc

Rounding to a nicer number, we can say:

1 lb of water at 4°C is approximately equal to 473 cc

Does Temperature Matter?

You may notice that we specified using the density of water at 4°C in the calculation above. The reason for this is that water’s density actually changes slightly based on temperature. Here are some examples:

Temperature Density of Water
0°C (32°F) 0.9998 g/cc
22°C (72°F) 0.9982 g/cc
100°C (212°F) 0.9584 g/cc

As you can see, the density of water decreases as temperature increases. This means that the number of cc in 1 lb will also vary slightly depending on the water’s temperature. The difference is small, but for accuracy in scientific applications, you may want to take into account the water’s temperature. For room temperature water (around 22°C or 72°F), 1 lb equates to around 471 cc instead of 473 cc.

Converting CC to Pounds

We can also use the density equation to convert in the opposite direction, from a volume in cc to a weight in pounds. The steps are essentially the same:

Density = Mass / Volume

Rearranging to solve for Mass:

Mass = Density x Volume

For example, to convert 350 cc of water at 4°C to pounds:

  • Volume = 350 cc
  • Density of water at 4°C = 1 g/cc

Plugging this into our equation:

Mass = 1 g/cc x 350 cc = 350 g

To convert grams to pounds, we need to divide by 453.592 g per pound:

350 g / 453.592 g/lb = 0.77 lb

So 350 cc converts to approximately 0.77 lb for water at 4°C. Again, we would adjust the density slightly for different water temperatures.

Converting CC to Pounds for Other Substances

The conversions above are specifically for water. Other substances will have different densities, and therefore different conversions between cc and pounds. Here are the densities and cc-to-pound conversions for some common substances:

Substance Density (g/cc) CC per Pound
Ethanol 0.789 g/cc 575 cc
Glycerin 1.26 g/cc 360 cc
Mercury 13.53 g/cc 34 cc

To summarize:

  • 1 lb of ethanol is about 575 cc
  • 1 lb of glycerin is about 360 cc
  • 1 lb of mercury is about 34 cc

You can calculate the conversion for any liquid or solid by looking up its density in g/cc and then dividing 453.592 g (1 lb) by that density.

Typical Uses

Some common uses where people convert between pounds and cubic centimeters:

  • Cooking: Converting ingredient quantities in recipes, e.g. 1 lb of flour is about 473 cc
  • Lab experiments: Weighing out precise volumes of liquids for chemical reactions
  • Engineering: Material volume calculations, e.g. for machined metal parts
  • Shipping: Calculating weight or volume of packages for shipping
  • Medicine: Measuring doses of liquid medicines – doses are sometimes prescribed in cc

Any application that requires converting between the imperial and metric systems will need to convert between pounds and cc.

How to Remember the Conversion

If you need to remember the rough conversion factor for water, a handy mnemonic is:

“A pound of water is about half a liter”

Since 1 liter is 1000 cc, half a liter is 500 cc. This is very close to the actual 473 cc per pound for water.


In summary:

  • For water at 4°C, 1 lb ≈ 473 cc
  • The conversion varies slightly with temperature due to density changes
  • Use the substance density to calculate the conversion for other liquids or solids
  • Common uses include cooking, laboratory work, engineering, medicine, and more
  • “A pound of water is about half a liter” is an easy way to remember the approximate conversion

Converting between pounds and cubic centimeters requires the density, but the relationship is straightforward. Handy conversions to remember are that 1 lb of water is about 473 cc, and 1 lb of any substance is around half a liter in cc. Use these conversions any time you need to move between imperial pounds and metric cc.

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