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Evonik Industries says it has made substantial progress on a biobased route to nylon 12. Nylon 12 is traditionally made from laurolactam, itself a derivative of cyclododecatriene (CDT). In 2012, a fire at Evonik’s CDT plant in Marl, Germany, crimped global supplies of nylon 12 to the dismay of the auto industry, which depends on the resin for brake and fuel lines. The new process uses palm kernel oil to make ω-amino lauric acid, which can be polymerized into nylon 12. Separately, Evonik has expanded capacity for nylon 12 in Marl by 5,000 metric tons per year.
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