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Active disassembly using smart materials is a relatively new technology. Extensive tests have shown that the technology works. Analysis of product categories indicates that plastics dominated products as well as precious metals dominated products are most likely to benefit from including active disassembly in their end-of-life strategies. The economic implications of doing so are investigated. In principle, active disassembly will turn out much cheaper than conventional disassembly, and will greatly reduce processing times as well as improve specifications of output fractions. Further testing with respect to determining the ecological advantage is needed, but it is believed that considerable gains may apply here also.