Fig. S1. FT-IR absorbance spectrum of pure potassium thiocyanate. An asterisk is used to highlight the main vibration feature at 2050 cm−1, which arises from S - C - N.

Fig. S2. FT-IR difference spectrum of: (average phenol IR spectrum at t - 48) minus (average control IR spectrum at t - 48). The peak highlighted with an asterisk is the carbonyl stretch at 1754.5–1710.2 cm−1 which increases during growth on phenol.

Fig. S3. Phenol quantification data (black symbols and lines) plotted with the COOH (1754.5–1710.2 cm−1); FT-IR peak areas shown in green. Data for all ageing experiments are shown (2, 9, 16 and 131 days; A, B, C and D respectively). Samples supplemented with 5 mM phenol are shown on the left hand side and samples grown in the absence of phenol (control) are on the right hand side.

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