Calcination conditions of the precursor powders, i.e. temperature, type of atmosphere and duration, were determined with a
view to obtain superconducting powders with the most advantageous physico-chemical properties. Investigated were powders in
the Y−Ba−Cu−O system prepared by the sol-gel method. Thermogravimetric examinations of the powders have revealed that the
decomposition kinetics of BaCO3 determines the formation rate of the superconducting YBa2Cu3O7−x (‘123’) phase. It follows from the decomposition kinetics of BaCO3 that the process is the most intensive in argon, whereas in static air and oxygen it is the slowest. The phase composition
analysis (XRD) and low-temperature magnetic susceptibility measurements of the calcinated powders, confirm the above mentioned
changes in the decomposition kinetics. The reaction of barium carbonate can be completed if the calcination process is conducted
at the temperature of 850°C for 25 h, yielding easily sinterable powders for obtaining single-phase superconducting bulk samples
with advantageous functional parameters.