High-purity nanoscale α-alumina powders with high specific surface area were prepared from boehmite powders synthesized by the method of aluminium isopropoxide hydrolysis. The physiochemical transformation of boehmite powders under heat-treatment was investigated. The results showed that the reaction progress of boehmite under heat-treatment is as follows: AlO(OH) → Al2O3 (amorphous) → γ-Al2O3 → δ-Al2O3 → α-Al2O3. The phase transformation from δ-Al2O3 to α-Al2O3 begins at 1050oC, and the α-Al2O3 grains growth accelerates as temperature increases. High-purity α-Al2O3 nanometer powders with higher specific surface area can be obtained after incineration at 1100oC for 4 h.