Hematite nanoparticles can be formed through a variety of synthesis routes, each of which can substantially affect the properties of the resulting product. In this article we report the use of a facile synthesis route, direct spray precipitation, and compare the performance of these α-Fe2O 3 products with those obtained through standard precipitation method. Through this new method, we obtain a nanocrystalline α-FeO(OH) precursor material, while an amorphous material is obtained from precipitation route. The highly efficient, low temperature (300 C) calcination of this nanocrystalline precursor results in the formation of hematite nanorods with a diameter between 20 and 30 nm. These nanorods exhibit an extremely high surface area (up to 166 m2 g-1) attributed to their morphology and apparent nanoporosity. This very high surface area coupled with higher attenuation in the ultraviolet-visible with a low temperature synthesis give this material potential for further investigation as photocatalyst or energy storage material. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.