Calculation of radiation transmittance through n-heptane in a pool fire

Teemu Isojärvi, Hadi Bordbar, Simo Hostikka

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The radiative transfer mechanisms in a volatile hydrocarbon pool fire were investigated by solving the transmittance of infrared radiation through fuel (n-heptane) layers of different depths. The incoming radiation was assumed to have the same relative amounts of different wavelengths as a spectrum obtained experimentally for a 2 meter pool fire, and the transmittances were calculated by integrating either the single-ray Lambert-Beer formula, the two-flux (Schuster-Schwarzschild) method solution or the analytical plane-parallel monochromatic/gray solution of the radiative transfer equation over wavelength, using the liquid absorption coefficients from several sources. The obtained transmittances were compared to earlier heat flux measurements, and the possibility of calculating them with significantly less computation time by using a k-distribution method was investigated. The results managed to replicate the measured heat flux values at depths over 1 mm in the liquid with reasonable accuracy, and the use of the k-distribution, more known and used in gas phase thermal radiation calculations, significantly speeds up the calculations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number042002
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed
EventEuropean Symposium on Fire Safety Science - Nancy, France
Duration: 12 Sep 201814 Sep 2018
Conference number: 3


  • hydrocarbon
  • infrared spectra
  • pool fire
  • thermal radiation
  • transmittance


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