Within the power generation community, the rotating detonation engine (RDE) is only growing in popularity with its increased performance, simple mechanism, and operation. Although significant testing is underway to characterize the RDE for integration with conventional gas turbines, this entire system is still at a relatively low technology readiness level. In the midst of RDE research, there is an initiative to understand solid particle seeding effects in the detonation performance. Under investigation at the University of Central Florida is a Department of Energy (DOE) 6-inch RDE, with a solid particle seeder in parallel with its H2 and air flow lines. Previous work on this system involved carbon particle detonation; however, the tested particles were taken one step further to include more sustainable, greener hydrocarbon particles. Testing of powdered sugar, peanut flour, and cornstarch, along with previous carbon black tests have shown not only successful detonability, but a noticeable effect on the detonation wave dynamics. Side-by-side with a particle burning model being developed, an operational map can be determined for the hydrocarbon particles particularly, which can be tuned with the local flow conditions to achieve peak operability while replacing fuels with sustainable alternatives that could even be grown.

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