The desire to utilise biobased feedstocks and develop more sustainable chemistry poses new challenges in catalysis. A synthetically useful catalytic conversion is ethenolysis, a cross metathesis reaction with ethylene. In this Review, the state of the art of ethenolysis in biobased chemistry was extensively examined using methyl oleate as a model compound for fatty acids. Allied to this, the ethenolysis of fatty acid, polymers and more challenging substrates are reviewed. To determine the limiting factors for the application of ethenolysis on biomass, the influence of reaction parameters were investigated and the bottlenecks for reaching high turnover numbers identified.