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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


This is the second edition of this study, which presents a series of measurements conducted to characterize the structure of a 1 m diameter methanol pool fire steadily burning with a constant lip height in a well-ventilated quiescent environment. The main change to the report is an expanded description of the uncertainty analysis with a focus on the gas temperature measurement. A number of other issues are also improved as described in detail in the report preface. Time-averaged local measurements of gas-phase temperature were conducted using 50 micron diameter, Type S (Platinum), bare wire, thermocouples with a bead that was approximately spherical with a diameter of about 150 micron. The thermocouple bead temperature was corrected for radiative loss and thermal inertia effects using an in-house MATLAB code. A FDS simulation of the 1 m methanol pool fire was conducted to obtain the gas velocity distribution above the burner which helped to estimate the thermocouple temperature. The gas temperature distribution profile above the burner centerline was measured and compared to many previous studies in a 30 cm methanol fire. The actual heat release rate was measured using oxygen consumption calorimetry and compared with the ideal heat release rate calculated from the measured mass burning rate. The heat flux distribution about the pool fire was measured using fourteen wide-view angle, water-cooled, Gardon-type total heat flux gauges. The radiative emission from the fire was estimated by considering the radiative heat flux through a virtual cylinder about the fire and by a single point estimate, which produced similar results. Flame characteristics, such as, the mean flame height, pulsation frequency and flame instability near the fuel surface, were analyzed from the 30 Hz video record of the fire.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 2083r1
Report Number


heat release rate, temperature distribution, burning rate, heat flux distribution


Sung, K. , Chen, J. , Bundy, M. , Fernandez, M. and Hamins, A. (2021), 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 June 15, 2021, Updated November 29, 2022