Abstract The simulation of thermochemical nonequilibrium for the atomic and molecular energy level populations in plasma flows requires a comprehensive modeling of all the elementary collisional and radiative processes involved. Coupling detailed chemical mechanisms to flow solvers is computationally expensive and often limits their application to 1D simulations. We develop an efficient Lagrangian diffusive reactor moving along the streamlines of a steady baseline flow simulation to compute detailed thermochemical effects. In addition to its efficiency, the method allows us to model both continuum and rarefied flows, while including mass and energy diffusion. The Lagrangian solver is assessed for several testcases including strong normal shockwaves, as well as 2D and axisymmetric blunt-body hypersonic rarefied flows. In all the testcases performed, the Lagrangian reactor improves drastically the baseline simulations. The computational cost of a Lagrangian recomputation is typically orders of magnitude smaller with respect to a full solution of the problem. The solver has the additional benefit of being immune from statistical noise, which strongly affects the accuracy of calculations obtained by means of the Direct Simulation Monte Carlo method, especially considering minor species in the mixture. The results demonstrate that the method enables applying detailed mechanisms to multidimensional solvers to study thermo-chemical nonequilibrium flows.