ZnO nanoparticles were synthesized in a horizontal three zones furnace at 500 degrees C using different zinc nitrate hexahydrate concentrations (0.01 M, 0.1 M, and 1.0 M) as a reactive precursor solution by air assisted Ultrasonic Spray Pyrolysis (USP) method. The physico-chemical, structural and functional properties of synthesized ZnO nanoparticles have been characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), Brunauer, Emmett and Teller (BET) method, UV-vis spectroscopy and photoluminescence (PL) measurements. Also, the photocatalytic activities of ZnO synthesized from different precursor concentrations were evaluated by removal rate of methyleneblue (MB) under UV irradiation (365 nm) at room temperature. SEM revealed two types of ZnO nanoparticles: a quasi-spherical, desert-rose like shape of the secondary particles, which does not change significantly with the increasing of precursor solution concentration as well as some content of the broken spheres. Increasing the precursor solution concentration leads to the increase in the average size of ZnO secondary particles from 248 +/- 73 to 920 +/- 190 nm, XRD reveals the similar tendency for the crystallite size which changes from 23 +/- 4 to 55 +/- 12 nm in the analyzed region. HRTEM implies the secondary particles are with hierarchical structure composed of primary nanosized subunits. The PL spectra imply a typical broad peak of wavelength centered in the visible region exhibiting the corresponding red-shift with the increase of solution concentration: 560, 583 and 586 nm for the 0.01, 0.1 and 1.0 M solution, respectively. The reported results showed the photocatalytic efficiency of ZnO nanoparticles was enhanced by increased precursor concentration. (C) 2014 The Society of Powder Technology Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. and The Society of Powder Technology Japan. All rights reserved.