The utility of a novel technique for determining the ignition delay in a compression ignition engine has been shown. This method utilises statistical modelling in the Bayesian paradigm to accurately resolve the start of combustion from a band-pass in-cylinder pressure signal. Applied to neat diesel and six biofuels, including four fractionations of palm oil of varying carbon chain length and degree of unsaturation, the relationships between ignition delay, cetane number and oxygen content have been explored. It is noted that the expected negative relationship between ignition delay and cetane number held, as did the positive relationship between ignition delay and oxygen content. The degree of unsaturation was also identified as a potential factor influencing the ignition delay.