Three jet fuel surrogates were compared against their target fuels in a compression ignited optical engine under a range of start-of-injection temperatures and densities. The jet fuel surrogates are representative of petroleum-based Jet-A POSF-4658, natural gas-derived S-8 POSF-4734 and coal-derived Sasol IPK POSF-5642, and were prepared from a palette of n-dodecane, n-decane, decalin, toluene, iso-octane and iso-cetane. Optical chemiluminescence and liquid penetration length measurements as well as cylinder pressure-based combustion analyses were applied to examine fuel behavior during the injection and combustion process. HCHO* emissions obtained from broadband UV imaging were used as a marker for low temperature reactivity, while 309 nm narrow band filtered imaging was applied to identify the occurrence of OH*, autoignition and high temperature reactivity. Jet-A and S-8 were well represented by their surrogate fuels under the conditions examined, while the Sasol-IPK surrogate emulated the low temperature heat release but had a shorter high temperature ignition delay compared to the target fuel. The IPK surrogate was also found to have a slightly greater liquid penetration length and greater low-temperature reactivity.