A series of Polyethersulfone (PES)-barium chloride (BaCl2) blend ultra filtration membrane was developed by varying the BaCl2 concentration in the dope solution. Prepared membranes were subjected to membrane characterization and their performance was studied through dye rejection tests. Morphological studies through SEM and AFM showed that the composite membranes exhibited differences in morphologies, porosities and properties due to the BaCl2 addition as compared with pristine PES membrane. Addition of the inorganic modifier enhanced the hydrophilicity and water permeability of the blend membrane system. Polymer enhanced ultrafiltration of dye solutions showed that the proposed blend system had better performance in terms of flux and rejection efficiency than the pure polymer membrane. The performance of the 2 wt% BaCl2 blend membrane was more promising for application to real time dye wastewater studies. © Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.