The influence of the initial fuel temperature on the burning behavior of n-heptane pool fire was experimentally studied at the State Key Laboratory of Fire Science (SKLFS) large test hall. Circular pool fires with diameters of 100mm, 141 mm, and 200 mm were considered with initial fuel temperatures ranging from 290 K to 363 K. Burning rate and temperature distributions in fuel and vessel wall were recorded during the combustion. The burning rate exhibited five typical stages: initial development, steady burning, transition, bulk boiling burning, and decay. The burning rate during the steady burning stage was observed to be relatively independent of the initial fuel temperature. In contrast, the burning rate of the bulk boiling burning stage increases with increased initial fuel temperature. It was also observed that increased initial fuel temperature decreases the duration of steady burning stage. When the initial temperature approaches the boiling point, the steady burning stage nearly disappears and the burning rate moves directly from the initial development stage to the transition stage. The fuel surface temperature increases to its boiling point at the steady burning stage, shortly after ignition, and the bulk liquid reaches boiling temperature at the bulk boiling burning stage. No distinguished cold zone is formed in the fuel bed. However, boiling zone is observed and the thickness increases to its maximum value when the bulk boiling phenomena occurs.
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