Sponge-like magnetic alpha-Fe microtubes have been prepared via reduction of alpha-Fe2O3 microtubes in hydrogen flow. alpha-Fe2O3 microtubes have been previously obtained by combined sol-gel and template methods. It is shown that the strongly acidic aqueous medium leads to specific interaction of ferric hydroxide nanoparticles with cellulose template. This contributes to the formation of alpha-Fe2O3 microtubes, which retain the features of the initial fibers structure. Both calcination at high temperature (1200 C-omicron) and reduction does not lead to the destruction of the tubular morphology. The resulting magnetic materials have a promising applications in biomedicine, as micro-reactors, microwave absorbing materials, easily recoverable from the reaction medium catalysts of various chemical reactions (including carbon nanotubes growth) and a component for creating new composite (e.g., metal-oxide) materials with improved performance characteristics. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.