Marvel Fusion, a German company, plans to construct a laser facility worth $150 million in the United States.

Marvel Fusion, a German company, plans to construct a laser facility worth $150 million in the United States.

Marvel Fusion and Colorado State University Collaborate to Develop Innovative Fusion Energy System

Fusion Energy

Scientists are making significant progress towards the development of a fusion energy system that doesn’t rely on traditional magnetic field-based reactors. Germany-based startup Marvel Fusion, in collaboration with Colorado State University (CSU), is building the world’s first facility dedicated to commercializing inertial confinement fusion. This unique approach involves using high-intensity lasers to slam atoms together multiple times per second, creating a fusion reaction.

The interest in inertial confinement fusion has grown ever since scientists at the US government’s National Ignition Facility achieved net energy gain in a fusion reaction for the first time in history. This breakthrough, accomplished in December, was successfully repeated in July. Notably, net energy gain signifies that the fusion reaction produced more energy than was required to initiate it.

The achievement of net energy gain has ignited hopes that fusion energy’s promise of abundant, clean, and limitless power is within our reach. However, there is still a significant gap between achieving net energy gain and developing a commercially viable fusion power system. To generate energy continuously, fusion blasts must be produced at a rate of nearly 10 per second.

Marvel Fusion aims to bridge this gap by constructing a laser facility in Fort Collins, Colorado, with a budget of $150 million. The facility, set to be completed by 2026, will house at least three laser systems, each capable of generating multi-petawatt peak power with the required ultra-fast repetition rate of ten flashes per second. CEO of Marvel Fusion, Moritz von der Linden, believes that this public-private partnership and the development of a laser-based fusion research center will establish a global standard and propel the creation of a safe, clean, and reliable energy source.

While Marvel Fusion has established a subsidiary in Colorado to support the collaboration with CSU, its headquarters remain in Munich, Germany. When questioned about the choice to collaborate in the United States, von der Linden responded to the Financial Times, stating that it was the “fastest, most capital-efficient way for us to move on building this facility.” The United States provides ample funding and a robust appetite for such technology, which influenced the decision. However, von der Linden indicated that he doesn’t necessarily intend to build a full-scale commercial plant in the US, adding that it could very well be in Europe.

During the facility’s construction in Fort Collins, Marvel Fusion will continue its laser experiments at the CALA laser facility near Munich’s Ludwig-Maximilian University and the ELI-NP laser center in Romania, which currently holds the record as the most powerful facility of its kind in the world.

The collaborative efforts of Marvel Fusion and CSU bring us one step closer to unlocking the potential of fusion energy. With its promise of sustainable, clean, and virtually limitless power, fusion energy could revolutionize the way we meet our global energy needs. As research and development continue, we eagerly await the day when fusion energy becomes a practical and commercially available solution to power our future.