High density (> 99% TD) and microstructurally controlled alpha-alumina ceramics were produced from seeded nano-size boehmite (gamma-AlOOH) sols with a very fine crystallite size (2-3 nm). A totally wet processing technique comprising vacuum filtering and pressure filtration (PF) was applied in order to increase the solids-loading of the sol and hence form an extrudable paste suitable for plastic forming using extrusion. High packing densities (> 68% TD in the green state) are achieved by PF starting from the slurry state resulting in the formation of a consolidated paste which is further consolidated by extrusion. This combined processing technique was successfully applied, in an attempt to reduce the gamma-Al2O3 formation temperature, and hence lower the theta- to alpha-Al2O3 transition temperature. The microstructure of dense alpha-Al2O3 bodies derived from seeded boehmite sol contains very fine (250 nm) alumina grains after sintering at 1200 degreesC for 2 h. Although the DTA evidence points to a theta- to alpha-Al2O3 transition temperature of 1208 degreesC for a seeded (with 30 mn TiO2) sample, X-ray analysis indicates that a seeded, pressure filtrated and extruded sample is transformed to alpha-Al2O3 phase after sintering at 1100 degreesC for 2 h. (C), 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.