Surrogate fuels are often used in place of real fuels in computational combustion studies. However, many different choices of hydrocarbons to make up surrogate mixtures have been reported in the literature, particularly for jet fuels. To identify the best choice of surrogate components, the capabilities of different surrogate mixtures in emulating the combustion kinetic behavior of the real fuel must be examined. To allow extensive assessment of the combustion behavior of these surrogate mixtures against detailed experimental measurements for real fuels, accurate and compact kinetic models are most essential. To realize this goal, a flexible and evolutive component library framework is proposed here, which allows mixing and matching between surrogate components to obtain short chemical mechanisms with only the necessary kinetics for the desired surrogate mixtures. The idea is demonstrated using an extensively validated multi-component reaction mechanism developed in stages (Blanquart et al., 2009; Narayanaswamy et al., 2010, 2014, 2015), thanks to its compact size and modular assembly. To display the applicability of the component library framework, (i) a jet fuel surrogate consisting of n-dodecane, methylcyclohexane, and m-xylene, whose kinetics are described in the multi-component chemical mechanism is defined, (ii) a chemical model for this surrogate mixture is derived from the multi-component chemical mechanism using the component library framework, and (iii) the predictive capabilities of this jet fuel surrogate and the associated chemical model are assessed extensively from low to high temperatures in well studied experimental configurations, such as shock tubes, premixed flames, and flow reactors. © 2015 The Combustion Institute.