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|Reactive barriers, which consume oxygen, are prospective though unconventional alternatives to physical barriers for Acid Mine Drainage prevention. However, a reactive barrier implies a problem of duration. Pore gases were analysed in several wood waste piles in order to understand the factors which control wood degradation and help to determine the effective life span of such a cover. Long term efficiency seems to strongly depend on the degree of water saturation at the bottom of the pile, likely because the development of a microbial biomass in such an environment helps to keep the amounts of nutriments and readily metabolizable organic substrates at a high level, which in turn promotes oxygen consumption.|