Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Energetics of Small and Moderate-Scale Gaseous Pool Fires



Anthony P. Hamins


A series of measurements were made to characterize the global properties of moderate-sized pool fires steadily burning in a quiescent environment. A wide range of parameters were considered including lightly and heavily sooting hydrocarbon fuels (methane, propane and acetylene), burners varying from 0.1 m to 1.0 m in diameter, and total heat release rates from about 0.4 kW to 200 kW. These conditions yielded flames that were 0.1 m to 2 m in mean height. Measurements were made characterizing the time-averaged mass burning rate and the distributions of radiative heat flux emitted. The data allowed determination of the fraction of the enthalpy released as radiation, a key global parameter characterizing a fire. The heat feedback to the fuel surface was modeled and compared to measurements. Hundreds of measurements were made in scores of experiments, which were distilled into a handful of time-averaged quantities per experiment.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1926
Report Number


pool fire, radiation, radiative fraction, combustion efficiency, convection, heat feedback, methane, propane, acetylene


Hamins, A. (2016), Energetics of Small and Moderate-Scale Gaseous Pool Fires, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 15, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created November 1, 2016, Updated November 10, 2018