A method for producing ceramic materials utilizing the sol-gel process enables the preparation of intimate homogeneous dispersions of materials while offering the ability to control the size of one component within another. The method also enables the preparation of materials that densify at reduced temperatures. Applications of the compositions include filters, solid-oxide fuel cells, membranes, ceramic cutting tools and wear and auto parts. In one example, 10 g of AlCl.sub.6.6H.sub.2O is added to a 150 ml beaker and dissolved in 10 g EtOH and 1 g H.sub.2O. While stirring, 0.456 g of B.sub.4C powder is added. Then 9.6 g of propylene oxide is added. The gel sets up in about 10 minutes and is dried overnight. It is then washed with 1% NH.sub.4OH and air dried to yield 3.969 g of Al.sub.2O.sub.3/B.sub.4C xerogel.
 The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.