The influence of the small amounts (1-3%) of the additive di-tertiary butyl peroxide (DTBP) on the combustion event of Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engines was investigated using engine experiments, numerical modeling, and carbon-14 isotope tracing. DTBP was added to neat ethanol and diethyl ether (DEE) in ethanol fuel blends for a range of combustion timings and engine loads. The addition of DTBP to the fuel advanced combustion timing in each instance, with the DEE-in-ethanol mixture advancing more than the ethanol alone. A numerical model reproduced the experimental results. Carbon-14 isotope tracing showed that more ethanol burns to completion in DEE-in-ethanol blends with a DTBP additive when compared to results for DEE-in-ethanol without the additive. However, the addition of DTBP did not elongate the heat release in either case. The additive advances combustion timing for both pure ethanol and for DEE-in-ethanol mixtures, but the additive results in more of an advance in timing for the DEE-in-ethanol mixture. This suggests that although there are both thermal and kinetic influences from the addition of DTBP, the thermal effects are more important.