Abstract The inhibitions by Ni 2+ and F − ions and by acetohydroxamic acid of jack bean urease covalently immobilized on chitosan membrane was studied (pH 7.0, 25°C) and compared with those of the native enzyme. The reaction progress curves of the immobilized urease-catalyzed hydrolysis of urea were recorded in the absence and presence of the inhibitors. They revealed that the inhibitions are of the competitive slow-binding type similar to those of native urease. The immobilization weakened the inhibitory effect of the inhibitors on urease as measured by the inhibition constants K i ∗ . The increase in their values: 17.9-fold for Ni 2+, 26.5-fold for F − and 1.7-fold for acetohydroxamic acid, was accounted for by environmental effects generated by heterogeneity of the urease–chitosan system: (1) mass transfer limitations imposed on substrate and reaction product in the external solution, and (2) the increase in local pH on the membrane produced by both the enzymatic reaction and the electric charge of the support. By relating the K M /K i ∗ ratio to the electrostatic potential of chitosan it was found that while the reduced Ni 2+ inhibition is mainly brought about by the potential, inhibition by acetohydroxamic acid is independent of the potential, and the acid inhibits urease in its non-ionic form. The reduction in F − inhibition was ascribed to the increased pH in the local environment of the immobilized enzyme.