A conservative multicomponent diffusion algorithm for ambipolar plasma flows in local thermodynamic equilibrium
The usage of the local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) approximation can be a very powerful assumption for simulations of plasmas in or close to equilibrium. In general, the elemental composition in LTE is not constant in space and effects of mixing and demixing have to be taken into account using the Stefan-Maxwell diffusion description. In this paper, we will introduce a method to discretize the resulting coupled set of elemental continuity equations. The coupling between the equations is taken into account by the introduction of the concept of a Péclet matrix. It will be shown analytically and numerically that the mass and charge conservation constraints can be fulfilled exactly. Furthermore, a case study is presented to demonstrate the applicability of the method to a simulation of a mercury-free metal-halide lamp. The source code for the simulations presented in this paper is provided as supplementary material (stacks.iop.org/JPhysD/47/425202/mmedia).