The photocatalytic degradation of various organics such as phenol, p-nitrophenol, and salicylic acid was carried out with combustion-synthesized nano-TiO2 under UV and solar exposure. Under identical conditions of UV exposure, the initial degradation rate of phenol with combustion-synthesized TiO2 is 2 times higher than the initial degradation rate of phenol with commercial Degussa P-25 TiO2. The intermediates such as catechol (CC) and hydroquinone (HQ) were not detected during the degradation of phenol with combustion-synthesized TiO2, while both the intermediates were detected when phenol was degraded over Degussa P-25. This indicates that the rates of secondary photolysis of CC and HQ occur extremely faster than the rates at which they are formed from phenol and further implies that the primary hydroxylation step is rate limiting for the combustion-synthesized TiO2 aided photodegradation of phenol. The degradation rates of salicylic acid and p-nitrophenol were also investigated, and the rates were higher for combustion-synthesized titania compared to Degussa P-25 TiO2. Superior activity of combustion-synthesized TiO2 toward photodegradation of organic compounds can be attributed to crystallinity, higher surface area, more surface hydroxyl groups, and optical absorption at higher wavelength.