A diagnosis system for anaerobic wastewater treatment processes is presented. The system is able to recognise the state and trend of the operation and suggest the appropriate control action. The on-line variables measured were gas flow rate and composition (methane and carbon monoxide), feed and recycling flow rates, temperature and pH, while the manipulable inputs are feed, recycling and buffer-addition flow rates. The diagnosis system comprises a structured rule base, incorporating expert knowledge using fuzzy logic features. The structure of the system is based on the classification of information related to the process in three categories: i) the state of the process, ii) its trend and iii) the recommended set-point values for the inputs manipulated: feeding, buffer and recycling pumps. The system was applied to diagnose the operation of a 1.1 m3 hybrid UASB-UAF treating wastewater from a fibreboard production factory under different conditions (overload and underload), corresponding to some of the typical causes of destabilisation in anaerobic wastewater treatment plants. These situations require control action in order to maintain the stability and the treatment capacity of the reactor. The application of the system developed for the purpose of managing the situation proved to be reliable for supplying the actual state and trend of the process, as well as the adequate set point values to recover stable operation and/or to avoid further destabilisation.

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