The Rotating Detonation Combustor (RDC) has, in recent years, been a subject of great interest in the pressure-gain combustion research community. Researchers have been investigating the RDC as a potential improvement over current combustors in today's turbomachinery-based power generation systems. With the theoretical efficiency boost that detonations provide over deflagrating combustors, RDCs have the promise to be a next step in fuel/cost savings in the power generation industry. One mode of research to push an RDCs capabilities is the potential use of combustible carbon/hydrocarbon solid particles in addition to liquid or gaseous fuels. These particles are a source of high energy density and, once added, can reduce the amount of liquid/gaseous fuel needed while operating at the same fuel-to-air ratio. These organic particles are derived from grown sources making them cost-effective and sustainable, in contrast to mined or drilled fossil fuels. Carbon black, peanut flour, and powdered sugar were seeded into a 6-inch diameter RDC operating on a gaseous hydrogen-air mixture. This was done at the leanest hydrogen-air ratio possible where the combustor, operating on just gaseous fuel, would still experience stable detonation waves. Solid fuel was then seeded in place of the gaseous fuel at varying ratios to study its effects on the ability of the combustor to continue to experience detonations. In general, while stable detonations were achieved when solid fuel began replacing the gaseous fuel, the greater the concentration of solid particles compared to gaseous fuel, the greater the likelihood of irregular detonation modes. These modes were observed using a high-speed camera: taking back-end imaging observations to measure characteristics of present detonation waves, including wave number, speed, stability, and phase angle. CTAPs were also added along the length of the outer body of the RDC to take pressure measurements during operation.


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Graduation Date





Ahmed, Kareem


Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering (M.S.A.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Aerospace Engineering; Thermofluid Aerodynamic Systems Design and Engineering


CFE0009535; DP0027542





Release Date

May 2023

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)