The wicking of liquid into a paper-like swelling porous medium made from cellulose and superabsorbent fibers was modeled using Darcy's law. The work is built on a previous study in which the Washburn equation, modified to account for swelling, was used to predict wicking in a composite of cellulose and superabsorbent fibers. In a new wicking model proposed here, Darcy's law for flow in porous media is coupled with the mass conservation equation containing an added sink or source term to account for matrix swelling and liquid absorption. The wicking-rate predicted by the new model compares well with the previous experimental data, as well as the modified Washburn equation predictions. The effectiveness of various permeability models used with the new wicking model is also investigated. © 2010 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2010
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