As part of an investigation of the production of alumina by the nitric acid leaching of kaolinitic clay, the Bureau of Mines designed, built, and tested a fluidized-bed system for the calcination of aluminum nitrate nonahydrate to alumina, while recovering nitric acid. The calciner consisted of an 8-in-square by 36-in-tall vessel containing 18 in of fluidized solids. Molten aluminum nitrate, sprayed directly into the fluidized solids, formed sandy, granular alumina by growth of successive layers on fluidized particles. Solids were fluidized in a dense bed at temperatures of 250 deg to 500 deg c with steam, air, or mixtures thereof. Decomposition of nitrate ranged from 4 to 10 pct during single-pass steam or air fluidization, respectively. Alumina dust losses and low throughput are significant unsolved problem areas.