This paper presents the findings of experimental investigations regarding the influence of 13 different flux enhancing chemicals (FeCl(3), polyaluminium chloride, 2 chitosans, 5 synthetic polymers, 2 starches and 2 activated carbons) on respirometric characteristics and nitrification/denitrification performance of membrane bioreactor (MBR) mixed liquor. Flux enhancing chemicals are a promising method to reduce the detrimental effects of fouling phenomena via the modification of mixed liquor characteristics. However, potentially inhibiting effects of these chemicals on mixed liquor biological activity triggered the biokinetic studies (in jar tests) conducted in this work. The tested polyaluminium chloride (PACI) strongly impacted on nitrification (-16%) and denitrification rate (-43%). The biodegradable nature of chitosan was striking in endogenous and exogenous tests. Considering the relatively high costs of this chemical, an application for wastewater treatment does thus not seem to be advisable. Also, addition of one of the tested activated carbons strongly impacted on the oxygen uptake rate (-28%), nitrification (-90%) and denitrification rate (-43%), due to a decrease of pH. Results show that the changes in k(L)a values were mostly not significant, however, a decrease of 13% in oxygen transfer was found for sludge treated with PACI. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.