Lanthanum beta alumina powders were obtained by the polymeric precursor technique using lanthanum nitrate, aluminum nitrate, ethylene glycol and citric acid. The transformations that occur during thermal treatment of the precursor solution were evaluated by thermogravimetric and differential thermal analysis. Fourier Transform Infrared analysis for residual carbon qualitative detection and gas adsorption analysis for evaluating specific surface area, BET method, were carried out in powder specimens heat treated at different temperatures. High calcination temperature leads to the formation of hard agglomerates. The powders calcined at 800°C for 4 h have high specific surface area, ~ 120 m2/g. All processed powders and green pellets sintered at different temperatures were analyzed by X-ray diffraction for structural phase determination. Single phase LaAl11O18 pellets have application as solid electrolytes in disposable electrochemical devices for monitoring dissolved oxygen species in molten steel at very high temperatures, > 1500 °C, during steel production.