Nanofibers of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) containing ammonium molybdate were prepared by a combination of sol-gel and electrospinning techniques. Heat treatment of the as-spun composite nanofibers at 500 °C yielded MoO3 nanowires with a diameter of ∼180 nm. The product was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy. XRD and Raman spectra of the heat nanowires clearly show the formation of orthorhombic single phase MoO3 structure without any impurity phases. © 2018 Author(s).