In this work, we investigate the sources of dissipation in adiabatic boundary layers of non-ideal compressible fluid flows. Direct numerical simulations of transitional, zero-pressure gradient boundary layers are performed with an in-house solver considering two fluids characterized by different complexity of the fluid molecules, namely air and siloxane MM. Different sets of thermodynamic free stream boundary conditions are selected to evaluate the influence of the fluid state on the frictional loss and dissipation mechanisms. The thermo-physical properties of siloxane MM are obtained with a state-of-the-art equation of state. Results show that the dissipation due to both time-mean strain field and irreversible heat transfer, and the turbulent dissipation are significantly affected by both the molecular complexity of the fluid and its thermodynamic state. The dissipation coefficient calculated from the DNS is then compared against the one obtained from a reduced-order boundary layer CFD model  which has been extended to treat fluids modeled with arbitrary equations of state .