Pure anatase TiO2 nanoparticles were synthesized by sol-gel method under a pulsed electric field (PEF). The morphology and properties of the prepared materials were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and UV–vis absorption spectra. The surface area was also analyzed by BET method. Oxalic acid and formic acid were used as model pollutants, and the degradation performance of the TiO2 was examined using the as-prepared samples as photocatalysts. Enhanced photocatalytic activity under visible light irradiation was observed on the PEF-assisted synthesized TiO2. Higher photocatalytic efficiency was obtained with either higher pulse frequency (949 Hz) and shorter treatment time (12 min), or lower frequency (50 Hz) and longer treatment time (24 min).