DEFINITION of 'Biothermal Energy'
The concept of utilizing composting material to generate heat and biogas for use as an alternative energy source. Organisms which assist in the breaking down waste material also create heat, methane, carbon dioxide and other gases. These byproducts can be used in a variety of applications. Most prominently, greenhouses can use the biothermal energy and carbon dioxide to promote the growth of plants.
BREAKING DOWN 'Biothermal Energy'
This method may be less expensive than the traditional method of burning natural gas to create energy. Further innovations may make it possible to use biothermal energy as a supplement for home heating or to capture methane and other biogases for use in place of natural gas.