The oxidation chemistry of paraffins, aromatics, olefins and MTBE were examined. Detailed chemical kinetics calculations were carried out for oxidation of these compounds in the engine cycle. The oxidation rates are very sensitive to temperature. At temperatures of over 1400 K (depending on the fuel), all the hydrocarbons are essentially oxidized for typical residence time in the engine. Based on the kinetics calculations, a threshold temperature is defined for the conversion of the fuel species to CO, CO2, H2O and partially oxidized products. The difference in the survival fraction between aromatics and non-aromatics is attributed to the higher threshold temperature of the aromatics.