German chemical company Evonik Industries is using a biobased material to make a key polymer. In Slovenska Lupca, Slovakia, Evonik has begun operating a pilot plant to produce ω-amino lauric acid as a raw material for nylon 12 instead of butadiene-derived laurolactam. Palm oil is the starting material. For Evonik, the new route could help reduce its dependence on butadiene-based cyclododecatriene as a feedstock for laurolactam. A 2012 explosion at Evonik’s cyclododecatriene plant in Germany caused a global shortage of nylon 12.