Defect-rich pristine tin oxide nanoparticles (SnO2 NPs) with high colloidal stability have been synthesized by tetramethylene glycol (TMG) mediated hydrothermal process and characterized by XRD, TEM, Zeta Potential, PL spectroscopy and porosity measurement techniques. XRD result suggests the formation of rutile phase of SnO2 with average crystallite size of 2.65nm. TMG act as a structure directing agent assist in the formation of network like structure of SnO2 NPs as confirmed from TEM. Significant blue shifts in the UV absorption spectrum as that of the bulk and defect bands in the PL spectrum are observed. The nanomaterial possesses very high surface area of 263.102m2/g and large pore volume. The above properties strongly influence the photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue dye. Very fast adsorption and 96% degradation (under UV irradiation) has been achieved when 10ppm methylene blue solutions is catalysed by 20mg SnO2 NPs which pave the way for potential environmental application. © 2018 Author(s).