The crystal structures of different forms of TiO2 and those of BaTiO3, ZnO, SnO2, WO3, CuO, Fe2O3, Fe3O4, ZrO2 and Al2O3 nanoparticles have been deduced by powder X-ray diffraction. Their optical edges have been obtained by UV-visible diffuse reflectance spectra. The photocatalytic activities of these oxides and also those of SiO2 and SiO2 porous to oxidize iodide ion have been determined and compared. The relationships between the photocatalytic activities of the studied oxides and the illumination time, wavelength of illumination, concentration of iodide ion, airflow rate, photon flux, pH, etc., have been obtained. Use of acetonitrile as medium favors the photogeneration of iodine.