Calcium hydroxyapatite (Ca-10(PO4)(6)(OH)(2), HAp) whiskers have been processed using microwave and conventional heating. During microwave heating, well developed whisker shaped HAp was formed by a hydrolysis reaction of alpha-Ca-3(PO4)(2) (alpha-TCP) at 70-90degreesC for 6-15 h. The hydrolysis time required for complete conversion of (alpha-TCP to HAp was half than that required for conventional heating. The morphology of the reaction product was controlled by varying the hydrolysis temperature and time. The reaction product obtained at 70degreesC for 15 h exhibited a conversion rate similar to95% to HAp, and a whisker-like morphology with an aspect ratio >10 (less than or equal to0.2 mum in diameter), a specific surface area (S-BET) of 5.34 m(2) g(-1) and a Ca/P molar ratio of 1.66. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.