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The Thermal Character of a 1 m Methanol Pool Fire



Kunhyuk Sung, Jian Chen, Matthew Bundy, Marco G. Fernandez, Anthony Hamins


A series of measurements were made to investigate the thermal character of a 1 m diameter methyl alcohol (methanol; CH3OH) pool fire steadily burning with a constant lip height in a quiescent environment. The mass burning rate was measured by monitoring the mass loss in the methanol reservoir feeding the liquid pool. The heat release rate was measured using oxygen consumption calorimetry. Time-averaged local measurements of gas-phase temperature were conducted using 50 µm diameter, Type S, bare wires, with a bead that was approximately spherical with a diameter of about 150 µm. The thermocouple signals were corrected for radiative loss and thermal inertia effects. The heat flux was measured in the radial and vertical directions and the radiative fraction was determined. The average steady-state mass burning rate was measured as 12.8 g/s ± 0.2 g/s, which yields an idealized heat release rate of 254 kW ± 7 kW. The measured heat release rate was 256 kW ± 20 kW, which was consistent with the mass burning rate measurement. The maximum corrected mean and RMS temperature measured in the fire was 1371 K ± 247, which occurred on the centerline, 30 cm above the burner rim. The results showed that the radiative fraction was 0.22 ± 45% consistent with previous results.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 2083
Report Number


methanol, pool fire, radiative fraction


Sung, K. , Chen, J. , Bundy, M. , Fernandez, M. and Hamins, A. (2020), The Thermal Character of a 1 m Methanol Pool Fire, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 27, 2024)


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Created February 26, 2020, Updated October 12, 2021