The main objective of this work was to determine the effectiveness of various chemicals on filterability and fouling reduction in MBR mixed liquors. Different lab-scale experiments were conducted with a total of 7 different additives (3 cationic polymers (MPL30, MPE50, KD452), a biopolymer (Chit), a starch (Sta), and 2 metal salts (FeCl3, PACl))). Initially, batch shaker tests were performed for each additive to determine the optimum dosages in terms of soluble microbial products (SMP) removal. Then, short-term filtration trials and critical flux tests were performed. All tested additives were able to remove SMP, but at different extent; 33, 45, 51, 36, 38, 54, and 56% for MPL30, MPE50, KD452, FeCl3, PACl, Chit, and Sta, respectively. The cationic polymer KD452 exhibited the best performance in terms of the extent of SMP removal and the required dosage. All tested cationic polymers, starch and chitosan significantly reduced fouling rates and increased permeability values. At their optimum dosages, the cationic polymers MPE50, MPL30 and KD452 provided 96, 80 and 74% reductions in fouling rates, respectively. The enhancements in critical flux achieved by MPL30, MPE50, KD452, FeCl3, PACl, Chit, and Sta were 38, 46, 38, 14, 14, 0, and 22% in comparison with raw mixed liquor. Cationic polymers increased critical flux values to levels above 50L m(-2) h(-1). SMP removal from MBR mixed liquors and further improvement in filtration performance and fouling control did not always correlate. Overall, based on the lab-scale tests conducted, cationic polymeric additives were found to be favorable over the other additives due to their steady and successful performance in fouling control. The performance of cationic polymers was independent of small variations in dosing, while for other additives over- or under-dosing showed detrimental effects on filterability. (C) 2008 Published by Elsevier B.V.