Historically, COIL research in Germany has started with microwave excitation of an oxygen flow. But soon all efforts have been devoted to the chemical generation of excited singlet oxygen and have eventually given rise to a supersonic 10 kW class rotating disk driven device. A diode based diagnostic provides data of small signal gain and cavity temperature which emphasize the role of iodine injection for different penetration conditions. Heat release can lead to substantially higher temperatures as expected from adiabatic expansion. Power extraction is found to be in good agreement with theoretical predictions. Alternatively, small scale liquid jet generator experiments show encouraging 60 percent efficiency. Besides air defense related applications and a study on space debris removal, results are given which are pertinent to the decommissioning of nuclear installations. In particular, laser cutting of concrete at 1.3 micrometers is demonstrated and theoretically scaled up to relevant power levels.